Jun 14, 2019
Hopium Economy: Substance Dependencies and the Technosphere
- 16:00 to 17:00
- Performative Lecture
- Dept. I
- Several Speakers
- Martina Beate Geissler
- Oliver Sann
Tentative fragment, theatrical version for two speakers and a drone
More than a metaphor describing the technosphere, addiction in fact characterizes it. In this performative lecture, artists Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann collage a series of interviews and research vignettes on methamphetamine in the US. This collection of different scenes, excerpted from the project Hopium Economy (2019), approaches a form of molecular technology intertwining DIY chemistry and the mass use of agricultural steroids.
We consider the history of substance dependencies from iron, coal, tea, and sugar to gas, iPhones, methadone, nitrates and opioids the core motor of the Western expansion trajectory. Addiction here seems to be the existential conditio sine qua non of violence and pain—cataclysmic and eruptive as much as slow and covert. We believe that such a conception is offering a valuable opportunity to re-think addiction, both as a paradigm and as an object of knowledge, and to question any fixed categorization of addiction which does not ethnographically ground the conditions of its possibility.